Afternoon tea has always been a celebrated occasion at the Mount Nelson. But with the welcome return of Pastry Chef Vicky Gurovich, it has reached a new level of indulgence. Back at the helm of the hotel’s pastry department after an eight-year hiatus, Vicky is on a mission to elevate The Nellie’s legendary afternoon tea to new heights.
Vicky was the Pastry Chef at the Mount Nelson from 2009 – 2014. She left the hotel to be part of the opening team at The Westcliff Four Seasons in Johannesburg, a period she describes as “terribly exciting and a huge learning curve”. Later, she completed a stint at the acclaimed Pierneef at La Motte restaurant in Franschhoek before moving to New Zealand for seven years.
Late last year Vicky decided to return to the beautiful Cape and to the iconic Mount Nelson, just in time to prepare a deliciously light and vibrant afternoon tea menu for the summer.
With the onset of colder weather, Vicky has collaborated with the hotel’s new Executive Chef George Jardine to punch up the flavour quotient in the sweet and savoury offerings of the hotel’s Afternoon Tea.
Layers of flavours make autumn pastries into temptation itself. Arrayed on elegant tiered stands, the melt-in-mouth sweet surprises include butternut and roasted vanilla custard mousse, apricot and rooibos delice, macadamia nut tart with spiced chantilly and salted caramel and vanilla mousse.
Many eyes will be drawn to Vicky’s table of seasonal cakes in the lounge, a beacon of heavenly baking: frangipani tart, vanilla bavarois with caramelised apple, carrot cake loaf, and baked cheesecake. The afternoon tea spread also includes delicious fluffy scones and seasonal surprises.
Guests with a savoury tooth will still find comforting classics such as cucumber fennel and cream cheese finger sandwiches, however, Chef George Jardine has introduced newcomers such as soy-cured salmon on a charred aubergine rice roll and spinach tart with whipped feta.
As for the tea itself, connoisseurs can choose from over 60 premium loose-leaf and flowering teas, as well as local infusions such as buchu, rooibos, and honeybush. Can’t decide? Opt for the signature Mount Nelson Tea. This sublime blend of Darjeeling, Kenya, Assam, Keemun, Yunnan, and Ceylon has a unique added ingredient: pink rose petals which give the tea a beautiful blush colour that complements the hotel’s iconic pink walls.
Coffee lovers are also superbly catered for. The barista, coupled with a fancy San Remo Racer coffee machine, guarantees an impeccable brew from the finest single-origin beans that have been sustainably sourced from Ethiopia and Rwanda.
Fancy something stronger? Don’t forget to ask about the menu offering premium whiskies, cognacs, and liqueurs.